Biology

The State of Things
10:08 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Enormous African Rats Detect Landmines Across The Continent

APOPO HeroRAT tea egg training. Dammies trainee HeroRAT swaps a tea egg containing a sample of TNT he has just found for a banana treat
Credit flickr.com / APOPO

Dr. Danielle Lee, an animal behavior scientist, explains her research of the African Giant Pouched Rat

    

Most Americans think of rats as nuisances to be trapped and destroyed. But in Tanzania, giant pouched rats use their acute sense of smell to detect landmines and other explosives. Dr. Danielle Lee is an animal behavior scientist based at Oklahoma State University and she researches the African giant pouched rat. 

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Science & Technology
4:38 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

N.C. Scientist Helps Discover New Carnivore In The Andes

The olinguito is the first new species of carnivore discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years.
Credit NC Museum of Natural Sciences

A North Carolina scientist is part of a team that's made a big find: the first carnivore to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.  

The new animal is called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe). But for the longest time, olinguitos were thought to be olingos, small raccoon-like carnivores that live in the Andes Mountains.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Meet The Olinguito, The Newest Member Of The Raccoon Family

The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Courtesy of Mark Gurney

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Andes.

For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member of the raccoon family. Specifically, they thought it was a critter called the "olingo." But one scientist recently took another look and realized he had an entirely new species on his hands.

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The State of Things
11:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

What Makes Us Smile?

Marianne LaFrance, a psychologist at Yale, makes a comparison between a genuine smile (left) and a fake smile (right).
Credit Marianne LaFrance

Frank Stasio discusses smiles with a panel of guests.

Sure, it's more or less a given that we smile when we're happy and we smile when our picture is taken.  But do we also smile automatically throughout the day when we make eye contact with strangers?  How often do we smile in conversation? 

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Environment
5:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Frog Species Rapidly Disappearing From NC Piedmont

A southern cricket frog
Credit Matt Edmonds, creative commons

Southern cricket frogs are disappearing in the Piedmont of North Carolina at an alarming rate. Their disappearance mirrors a national trend that shows dwindling populations of all amphibians including other frog species, toads and salamanders. They play an important ecological role by feeding on pests and other insects.

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Science & Technology
11:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Are Chimps Interested In Social Networking?

gombechimpanzees.org

Online networking sites have become one of the primary ways humans forge connections with each another. Ian Gilby tells us that Gombe chimps might be just as interested in social networking as we are. He's been studying the ways chimpanzees form coalitions with one another in order to thrive and reproduce.

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Science & Technology
5:45 am
Mon June 20, 2011

UNC Biologist Part of National Plant Study

A biologist at UNC-Chapel Hill is one of 15 scientists chosen to join a national plant research program. Dr. Jeff Dangl studies how plants recognize and respond to diseases. His research is part of a $75 million grant awarded last week by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Dangl says the program has wide implications for human health and the environment.

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